I understand that professional sports are careers and should be taken as serious as any other career that puts food on your plate (or a Range Rover in your garage). But how serious is too serious when you're playing a game and providing entertainment for fans that are essentially paying your salary? I'm treading lightly as I write this because I am a fan of all things sport, but I'd like to dig a little deeper about athletes being more genuine about the emotions they are feeling on and off the field.
I'm sure we've all had a coach use the old cliche "act like you've been there" and that's all fair and good but dammit, Coach, there is gonna be a time I haven't been there and I might bust out some raw emotion!
Remember when Michael Jordan hit his 6th straight 3 pointer in a half while breaking the record for most point in a Half in NBA Finals history? I doubt he said to himself before the game "I'm gonna break this record...and when I do, I'm gonna shrug my shoulders and everyone will remember it." I don't think so! His reaction was genuine and most likely the same as ours on the couch, pure amazement.
Remember when Brett Favre won his first Super Bowl? He was sprinting across the field, holding his helmet above his head, smiling. 100% Raw emotion. Joyful that the hard work he's put in his entire life leading to this moment had paid off. Nothing premeditated, just genuine emotion.
This blog post was ignited by our friend Michael Morse who had recently been traded twice just as fast as I could blink an eye. In his first at bat with the Bucs, he stroked a double off the wall. Looking at this photo you'd think he just hit a massive bomb contributing to a World Series! (which he's done). However, he just got to a new club where he wants to prove his worth, and he stroked a double. I'm guessing he felt instant relief and excitement and thats exactly what he showed. I love it. We as fans love nothing more than to see the guys we look up to still having fun playing a Game.
There is something to be said about a professional who can "act like they've been there" but as a fan there's something refreshing and endearing about seeing your favourite player showing some emotion. Be it triumph or defeat, happiness or anger, athletes who share their personality with us are easy to root for as you are able to see the human side of these people we view as anything but.
By all means if you've been there, act like you have. But if you haven't, please...please...PLEASE share that moment with us. It's why we watch.